Plastic or metal?


I was saddened to read the letter from Tim Llewellyn whose great enthusiasm and splendid expertise in the field of vintage car racing I greatly admire. And as for your editorial comment that he made a valid argument for plastic bodies on vintage cars, words fail me ... Tim states correctly that there is no competitive advantage in a GRP bodyshell over one built by the conventional pre-war method of metal or metal over-wood. It was never done prior to 1939 simply because there was no such material in existence. If we once give way to using modern materials when the originals are readily to hand then the whole concept of preservation and the use of preserved vehicles of every sort will become a bad joke and the fun which Tim values so highly, as do so many of us, will disappear. Who will be the first to try carbon-fibre brake drums?

If we are honest with ourselves the VSCC has let things slide for rather too long and only recently has decided to make a real effort and tighten things up in respect of what will be allowed into Club events. It will need some very hard work to get things back to where they should be as a stroll round the paddock will reveal. Have a look at the Sunbeam Tiger to see how it should be done and also note that this car still wins races despite its pre-war material make-up and pristine turnout. Let the young and impecunious enthusiast with his box of Riley parts take the Tiger as a model of the standard required on his more simple task and he will get the greatest satisfaction even if he does have to master some new trades on the way to his finished acceptable car.

It won't help the committee of the VSCC to reach their decisions and to enforce them if they have a plastic body enthusiast in their midst and another one acting as his PRO in Motor Sport!

Brian Morgan, Sutton Coldfield, W.Midlands